Naugatuck school board names three new principals


By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Tiffany Deitelbaum

NAUGATUCK — Three borough schools will have new leadership come July.

The Board of Education this month hired Tiffany Deitelbaum as principal at Cross Street Intermediate School, Kristine Murphy-Salvucci as the new principal for Salem Elementary School, and Giovanna Testani as principal of Hillside Intermediate School.

Deitelbaum and Murphy-Salvucci are taking on new roles in the Naugatuck school district.

Deitelbaum, who has worked as an educator in Naugatuck for over 20 years, has been the principal at Salem Elementary School since July 2018. She will replace Cross Street Principal Melissa Cooney, who will become assistant superintendent of schools on July 1.

Deitelbaum, a Naugatuck resident, has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in mathematics, and a master’s degree in reading. Both degrees are from Central Connecticut State University. She has a certificate of advanced studies in administration from Sacred Heart University.

“Along with her experience and accomplishments as a teacher and principal in Naugatuck, she will bring to Cross Street her commitment to education and her love of Naugatuck,” Board of Education Chairman Jeff Litke said.

Kristine Murphy-Salvucci

Murphy-Salvucci, who has been the coordinator of the Early Childhood Center at Central Avenue since July 2019, will step in for Deitelbaum at Salem Elementary School.

Murphy-Salvucci, a Middlebury resident, started her career teaching fourth grade in Waterbury in 2004. She received a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Post University in Waterbury in 2002 and a master’s degree in education from the University of Bridgeport the following year.

“She will bring to Salem Elementary School her passion for elementary education and her desire to work closely with the parents and community,” Litke said.

Testani, a Monroe resident, is the assistant principal at Dunbar Elementary School in Bridgeport and has held the position for the last five years. Before that, she was at teacher and interventionist in Bridgeport. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in teaching from Sacred Heart University.

Giovanna Testani

Testani will replace Hillside Intermediate School Principal Johnna Hunt, who will become the associate principal at Naugatuck High School.

“She has roots and connections in Naugatuck that will allow her to build relationships at Hillside Intermediate School with the students, parents, teachers and the Naugatuck community,” Litke said.

The district received 32 applications for the intermediate school jobs and 28 for the principal job at Salem, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini said.

The 2020-21 salaries for the new principals are unclear as a new contract for school administrators is in the final stages of arbitration.


  1. Good to see they’ve attained this on their own, and not a mayor or top cops wife.